While the film’s narrative is passable at best, it struggles to maintain its momentum due to uninteresting characters and predictable poor writing.
At this point, most people know how to make a compelling crime thriller. There is a set of tropes, archetypes, and narrative rules that have been established over the years that provide a framework for creatives in which to come up with a traditional or subversive approach. Midnight in the Switchgrass Looks like screenwriter Alan Horsnail and director Randall Emmett just ticked the basic boxes that they thought would make a satisfying story. However, the film is anything but. While the film’s narrative is passable at best, it struggles to maintain its momentum due to uninteresting characters and predictable poor writing.
Midnight in the Switchgrass’ the story is quite uninteresting and totally uninspired. There’s a serial killer on the loose in Pensacola, Florida, and he’s targeting young women who are sex workers. He uses his job as a truck driver to avoid detection, however, he has a passionate state cop after him. This honorable member of the broken justice system crosses paths with FBI duo Agent Rebecca Lombardo (Megan Fox) and Agent Karl Helter (Bruce Willis), who work the same assailant from a different perspective, causing them to work together to capture the predator.
Despite the importance of the film’s credits and publicity, Willis’ Karl is completely messed up in the film and his role is unnecessary. The film falters due to its lack of focus on Fox’s Rebecca, who is desperate to seek justice for these young women who deserve a champion at the risk of putting themselves in danger. Much of the film relies on Rebecca putting herself in danger to save lives, but she is underused criminally. Emile Hirsch’s state cop Byron Crawford, meanwhile, is the typical archetype who is fed up with a justice system that fails to honor the lives of victims. While Rebecca and Crawford aren’t re-inventing any wheels, they’re made slightly better by the ridiculously subscribed character of Willis’ character.
In more ways than one, Willis’ presence undermines the film. His scenes undermine Fox’s performance and screen time, and his less than enthusiastic line delivery is best left behind. The film attempts to have an interesting visual palette and a compelling musical score that does more to direct the emotion of the film than the performances and story ever could. Although there is an attempt to be better, it’s for nothing, with mediocre pacing and terrible writing that tries to be a lot grander than the film is capable of. The film tries to be like other great crime thrillers, such as Thesilenceofthelambs, Seven or Prisoners. However, there are a lot of things that do not come together and it is difficult to overcome.
Starting at the top, with incompetent directing that fails to make the most of the cast, scripting, and editing which can be confusing at times. The film also lacks a thematic thread that gives audiences a reason to care about these characters, their pursuit of this predator, and whether or not they succeed. Ultimately, the movie needed a stronger creative vision that kept it from feeling so hollow and poorly put together. Midnight in switchgrass is one of Bruce Willis’ many vehicles that is a clear paycheck and not a meaningful pursuit of quality work. Fox and Hirsch do their best with what they’ve been given, while Lukas Haas does whatever he has to do to take on the role of the creepy and sadistic serial killer.
While these last three actors do all the heavy lifting to try and create something worth watching, what will inevitably happen is that the film will disappear among the millions of titles available on streaming platforms. . Of the two Megan Fox-directed films that will be released this month, however, Midnight in switchgrass is not the one who deserves to be recognized. With so much available these days, Midnight in switchgrass not worth the 100 minutes of wasted time.
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Midnight in switchgrass comes out in select cinemas, on demand and digital on Friday July 23. It lasts 100 minutes and is rated R for violence and language.
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